Wednesday 17 March 1668/69

Up, and by water to see Mr. Wren, and then Mr. Williamson, who did shew me the very original bookes of propositions made by the Commissioners for the Navy, in 1618, to my great content; but no other Navy papers he could now shew me. Thence to Westminster by water and to the Hall, where Mrs. Michell do surprize me with the news that Doll Lane is suddenly brought to bed at her sister’s lodging, and gives it out that she is married, but there is no such thing certainly, she never mentioning it before, but I have cause to rejoice that I have not seen her a great while, she having several times desired my company, but I doubt to an evil end. Thence to the Exchequer, where W. Hewer come to me, and after a little business did go by water home, and there dined, and took my wife by a hackney to the King’s playhouse, and saw “The Coxcomb,” the first time acted, but an old play, and a silly one, being acted only by the young people. Here met cozen Turner and The. So parted there from them, and home by coach and to my letters at the office, where pretty late, and so to supper and to bed.

15 Annotations

Terry Foreman   Link to this

"being acted only by the young people"

L&M tell us these are the less eminent members of the company, who had probably been given special permission to perform on a Wednesday in Lent and refer us to a 21 March 1667 passage in which Pepys reports "I alone out and to the Duke of York’s play-house, where unexpectedly I come to see only the young men and women of the house act; they having liberty to act for their own profit on Wednesdays and Fridays this Lent:" http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/03/21/ and note these were the players who were not shareholders in the theatre, who had been allowed to set aside the prohibition of plats on Fridays during Lent, a prohibition attested by Pepys in a comment of 1 March 1667 about a dismal "Friday (on which in Lent there are no plays)". http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1667/03/21/ [apparently an act of charity for "the least" of the company].

Background Lurker   Link to this

"she having several times desired my company, but I doubt to an evil end".

Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of Sam? The Diary knows...

(and of course one or two annotators who are adept at reading between the lines).

Mary   Link to this

"but I doubt to an evil end"

Lucky escape there, Sam! It would have been difficult to persuade Elizabeth that the baby could not possibly have been his and who knows what trouble might have followed had he agreed to Doll's requests for "company" in recent months?

Mary   Link to this

If Sam has told the whole truth in his diary, his last encounter with Doll Lane took place too long ago for this child possibly to have been laid at his door - March 1668.

http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1668/03/21/

Roy   Link to this

lt could have been a request for money or a loan, this would have been be in Sam's mind as has happened before with others.
This may be a reason why he was keen to avoid her.

Maurie Beck   Link to this

his last encounter with Doll Lane took place too long ago for this child possibly to have been laid at his door - March 1668.

If I remember correctly, Sam is probably infertile becaue he had the mumps in childhood.

Jenny   Link to this

"If I remember correctly, Sam is probably infertile becaue he had the mumps in childhood."

I think the general assumption is that Sam is infertile because of the operation of the cutting of the stone.

Robert Watson   Link to this

If he had Mumps in Childhood, he would not be infertile from that. Mumps after Puberty can cause infertility-- not before. It would be interesting to read information about how his operation (crushing his kidney stone) would have caused inferility.

Mary   Link to this

The general (modern) agreement is that Sam certainly appears to be infertile. However, if one of his doxies (Doll Lane in this case) should claim that he fathered a child on her, he would only be able to plead improbability and/or lack of opportunity, not total impossibility. He cannot know that he is infertile, only suspect it.

GrahamT   Link to this

@Robert Watson: There is quite a lot of information in the annotations and encyclopedia on this site about Pepys' operation for the stone in his bladder, not kidneys - though he certainly had those too later in life.
From the description of the invasive surgery, it is quite easy to see how it could have left him infertile. The stone was removed intact (about the size of a contemporary tennis ball) not crushed.

DiPhi   Link to this

Yes, somewhere in these annotations is posted a fairly terrifying drawing of how the operation probably took place. Almost made me infertile by just looking at it!

pepfie   Link to this

"Mumps after Puberty can cause infertility— not before."
Mumps in prepubertal boys (and girls) *can* cause infertility as well even if mumps orchitis (or oophoritis) is a less prevalent complication in children than in juveniles or adults.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC163...

"It would be interesting to read information about how his operation [extracting his bladder stone!] would have caused infertility."
That depends on the type of operation. The hallowed Methodus Celsiana, a cut through the perineum between anus and scrotum, would have severed the prostate, possibly seminal vesicles and spermatic ducts, too. Pietro Franco's fertility-saving sectio alta (1561) was successfully performed by William Thornhill in England since 1722, too late for Samuel Pepys.
http://www.thefullwiki.org/Page:Dictionary_of_N...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithotomy

Robert Gertz   Link to this

Hmmn...If this Mrs. Mitchell is the mother of Sam's oft-targeted poor Betty Mitchell (which the reference links suggest), very interesting that she should be acquainted with Doll and almost certainly therefore with Betty Martin, Sam's long time mistress...And likely with Mrs. Burroughs, the naval widow friend of Betty Martin, likewise a long-term "friend o' Sam" A curious thing that...

"And by the way, I was just speaking to Mrs. Bagwell, who is also with child. Who told me that young Deb Willett is in trouble. You remember her, poor girl? She worked for Mrs. P, I believe."

Robert Watson   Link to this

Thanks for the corrections and further information. I have little medical knowledge, but it seems to me a stupid place for surgeons to enter the body for that purpose, even 5 centuries ago. Didn't they know what was in the way? Wouldn't kidneys and bladder both be better accessed by going in by the abdomen? It is surprising to me that the operation didn't leave him impotent, but he makes mention of lying with pleasure with his wife, so one assumes he was capable of coitus.

Jenny   Link to this

I think it's understood that Sam isn't impotent (far from it!) but probably infertile.

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